TNETS launches seminar initiative to help exporters avoid penalties

Ensuring businesses are aware of new Advance Export Declaration (AED) rules in Singapore

TNETS, the Singapore-headquartered market-leading trade facilitation software and services provider, is launching a series of seminars aimed at ensuring businesses are fully aware of the new Advance Export Declaration (AED) rules in Singapore and know what changes they need to make to their work processes to be fully compliant.

The seminars are targeted at manufacturers, traders and forwarders involved in exporting goods from Singapore, with the goal of making it easier for them get things right under the new export declaration requirement. AED requires goods to be declared prior to export, whereas prior to April 1st 2013 when AED was introduced, goods only needed to be declared within three days of export.

The Singapore Government had set an 18-month adjustment period to assist companies to prepare themselves for AED compliance through workflow and systems adjustment.

Singapore Customs will impose penalties on companies that do not meet the AED deadline. “October 1st, 2014 is really a watershed for exporters and their forwarders as Singapore Customs has been very clear that there will be financial penalties, and possibly delays, for those companies who do not comply with the new requirement,” commented TNETS Co-Founder and Director, Neil Johnson.

“Despite the outreach efforts on the part of Customs we are still seeing some confusion in the market place in Singapore over what will happen after September 30th, 2014, when the AED adjustment period ends.” TNETS, as the largest user of Tradenet, has been assisting existing customers transition to the new regime. The company is now opening up its expertise to the wider market through this series of free seminars.

Taking place during March and April in conjunction with various Singapore trade bodies the sessions will focus on what the end of the 18-month adjustment period means for exporters and will also give useful insights on how work processes need to change to embrace the specific requirements of AED, whether exporting by air, sea or road.

The seminars will also highlight some of the limitations that businesses may have in meeting AED requirements and discuss ways to improve systems efficiencies. AED has its origins in the US Customs and Border Protection under the Department of Homeland Security and is designed to protect US borders from terrorism, human and drug smuggling, illegal migration and agricultural pests without compromising the flow of legitimate travel and trade.

In Asia, Japan and Hong Kong were among the first to introduce AED. Singapore is the first Southeast Asian country to do so. The move is seen as critical for Singapore to remain competitive as a key trading nation and the centre for trade in the region.

“While the previous regulation required companies to complete their declaration within three days of export, in practice many companies were building up a backlog of export declarations over many days or, in some cases, weeks. In future Customs will seek to prevent any kind of backlog. Manufacturers, traders and forwarders now need a significant behaviour change with export declarations or risk having their goods screened, leading to delays," added Johnson.

TNETS was established in 2004 and has grown rapidly over the years to become the leading trade facilitation software and services provider in Singapore. TNETS serves the needs of exporters, traders, and manufacturer in ensuring compliance with often-complex cross-border trade documentation.

TNETS, proprietary software TNETS v4.1, approved by Singapore Customs, delivers efficiency, reliability and security to a predominantly MNC client base and has enabled clients to make step cost reductions in processing of trade documents.